Monday, 29 October 2012

Friend Stealers


It has been a while, hasn’t it? I have been very busy. The weather is getting better day by day here, in Doha, after the summer heat; and everybody tends to spend more time outdoors, hungry for fresh (well, somewhat dusty, but still) air.

It is the second Eid here right now, which means a week off school and work, and we spent last three days at the beach with friends, good food and even a shisha. I have not got much to add, really about being at the beach every day (without making you all jealous and that is not, my friends, my intention!) 

Except that I have developed a very strong dislike for the jetski owners here, in Qatar. Husband always hated people who ride on jetski simply because they belong, in his eyes, to a special category of twats, also known as ‘people with no soul’. I, however, felt quite indifferent towards them, having tried jetski a few times myself, and not seeing any problem with them, except for the annoying noise. But, here, in Qatar, the guys who go on jetski do it in the most not just annoying, but dangerous fashion- they insist on riding them very close to the shore, practically on top and in between the swimmers in the sea. I have watched them do it for three days, and wondered what makes them come so close to us. Is it the desire to show off their jetskiying skills? Because, there isn’t any skill in riding one. It is not that impressive, really. So, if not to impress, then what? To scare us? To demonstrate that they don’t care if they kill one of us?  I am quite curious what they think we think as we all watch them behave like dickheads on the water. Whether they think we envy their sexiness and macho-ness, and admire their speed and coolness? Or do they realize that every single pair of eyes directed at them sees a very large, brainless asshole on a noisy metal piece of shit?

Anyway, now that I expressed my honest opinion of the jetski riders, I can comfortably move on to what I wanted to actually talk about today.

Ladies and Gentlemen! Let me introduce you to…

Friend stealers.

A long time ago, back in the UK, I had a very unpleasant experience. I introduced a very nice friend of mine to another, new friend, who I quite liked. They hit it off, and for a while, we all hung out together, in a peaceful friendly harmony. But, after a few months, I found out the new friend started to exclude me. She bought some tickets to a cool event and invited my friend, not telling me. But as we all know, things like that get around very quickly. She then invited my friend and her husband for a dinner at her place. Without me. And slowly, but surely, my friend started spending more and more time with her. Without me.

Husband hates it when I get jealous of my friends, or upset about getting excluded. He thinks I sound like a little girl in the playground. Maybe. But, even with years of practice at being excluded, of teaching myself not to care, of telling myself endlessly that people have every right to like someone else more than me, and/or do things with other people…Situations like this particular one, when a friend comes in and muscles in, attempting to steal my friend, however I look at them….SUCK.

Since I have arrived in Doha though, I have actually not felt this way at all. Most of my friends here tend to share their friends happily. I assumed it was an expat thing. In the UK, I often noticed that many people never mixed their friends. They would meet friends from school on one day, friends from work on another and so on. I myself never paid any attention to separating my friends. If I had a party, I would happily mix them all- the more the merrier. If I hosted a dinner, I would enjoy bringing friends of mine together and introducing them to each other.

Here, in Qatar, we mix pretty well. Not just because we are all in the same boat- new place, no established friendships going years back, no families nearby. But also because we all need more contacts, and the only way we make them is through each other, through sharing our new friends with other new friends. As it goes in Russian…’peace, friendship, festival’. 

But now, back to why I feel like crap today. Today I have found out that not just me (which, as I noticed, I don’t actually get that affected by anymore), but my daughter got deliberately excluded by someone I considered a friend. Now, this is a different game altogether! You can exclude me as much as you wish, my dear. But to exclude my little girl, hurting her feelings…that is unforgivable in my Book of Friendship. I sat down and told myself the usual things. She did not have to invite my girl. So what those kids are all friends- they can’t and should not do everything together, all the time. It is nice to do things separately! I told myself that I was being unreasonable. That I should rise above it….blah blah.

But you know what? I still have this nasty feeling…And in the end, this is what it comes down to, with me anyway. Forget the logic, forget the reason. I trust my feelings getting hurt. And if that happens, it usually means one thing. The end of friendship.  

14 comments:

  1. Well..........laying on the beach like misguided whale has done nothing to sharpen your incisive instincts. Whining about jet skis riders and other ppl knicking your "friends" life must be so full of challenges. I mean who gives a fuck if some expat airhead forget to invite your sweetest offspring to their last backyard goat roast, she was probably too busy being screwed by the houseboy to even remember her husband's name. I mean scari you used to have some bite mixed in with the bullshit but Doha has dumbed you down darling.........go do something real......dress up in mens clothes (I mean thats not difficult there, they practically wear dresses, just need a black santa beard), hangout in the male johns.....report in the Doha cottaging industry or something that might raise at least a smile rather than a groan. xxxx love and kisses

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    1. There aren't many things we can blog about here without getting deported. :) but listen, with your OTT sarcasm you should start your own blog, and see how many people you manage to get groaning, honey.

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  2. Oh that's a terrible feeling, especially when it comes to kids. And, it's a Baku thing I think. We take any sign of social exclusion very seriously. I can only guess it's related to the tribal nature of our culture.
    Every time this happens I remind myself that we're not in Baku and here no one cares, so why should I?

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    1. That is an interesting theory, but i don't think we can claim this feeling to be our own, azeri thing. It is a human thing. I have come across people of all sorts of backgrounds who experienced similar feelings. My mother in law, for example knew EXACTLY what i meant. :)

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  3. I think you should not let it get to you, and teach your daughter the same. She has the whole life ahead of her, and it is better that she learns how to deal with disappointment at an early age. Because that's life and no matter how nice, pretty and smart she is, she will meet people who won't like her, guys she will like who will ignore her, etc. Teach her to not let things like that get to her. After all, if someone thinks they are too good for you, they are not worthy of your friendship. That's how I think about it these days. Life is too short to spend it fretting over such things. And besides, I think it is a sign of the person's insecurity if the way someone treats you has such an impact on you. (Don't get offended - I used to feel this way, too, until I got older and stopped giving a shit ;))

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    1. Maybe, maybe. I dont see myself as terribly insecure, just emotional. And it simply is a girl thing, really. Cant run away from our nature.

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  4. I'm so sorry for your little girl. I really hope she isn't as disappointed as you are right now. Let me tell you: if you were here in Lima, I'd be delighted if my 5-year old niece and your girls were friends.
    :D

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    1. I hope she has not noticed it as badly as i have.
      Thanks, gabriela! How are you anyway, hope things are good. X

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  5. I'm reminded of an episode of 'My name is Earl' where Joy believes her kids don't have any friends, when really all the other mums are just scared of her, so don't invite them to anything in case Joy comes too....

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  6. OK Scary, comfort yourself with the thought that, if someone prefers someone else to you, they clearly have no taste, so you don't want them as a friend anyway. On the other hand, I've seen the effect of schoolkids being excluded from parties and sleepovers and it can be devastating. However much you badmouth the culprits, the kids still feel rejected. Sad, cruel, and unnecessary.

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    1. Ah, what a sweet comment, Bill! :-)
      Hope you are doing well, by the way.

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  7. I always said I would never be "that mom" who didn't like other little kids because they didn't like my kid.

    I'm "that mom". Through and through. My daughter is my heart and soul ... she is a part of me. If somebody tries to break her, or if someone does anything that could potentially break her, I literally want to crush them.

    Unfortunately, my daughter is seven, the age at which "I'm your BFF" one day turns into "You're my enemy" the next. The third day, it reverts back to BFF. I find myself caught in a 'frenemy' vortex. So for her sake I usually sit back for a while and see how it all plays out with the friends.

    But when the moms start excluding my kid, that's when I pull the plug. I've actually only had it happen once, but I felt no shame at all in telling my daughter that her friend had moved away suddenly (as expats do) and that we would unfortunately not be seeing her anymore.

    I'm all with you Scaryazeri.

    I love what I've seen of your blog so far, btw.

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    1. Hi, thanks for visiting the blog and for your comment. My girl is also 7. I guess, this is the age when girls start being mean, and this sort of stuff happens. But like you said, when a mom is involved, it is a different story. It is hard not to let it bother you. I noticed how people who think you are "that mom" and judge you for it, quickly change when it concerns their babies. Suddenly they turn into that mom, too. :)

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